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Jokowi holds a massive rally in Jakarta. Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images

India's ongoing election will be the biggest democratic exercise in history, but depending on turnout, Indonesia's on Wednesday might be the biggest single day election ever.

The big picture: Joko Widodo (known as Jokowi) is Indonesia's first modern president from outside the military or political elite, and massive expectations accompanied him into office in 2014. He has long been expected to secure re-election (most polls have showed him leading by double-digits), but he played it safe by picking a conservative cleric as his running mate.

  • He's overseen economic growth of around 5% — solid, but not the 7% he promised. Poverty is ticking down, infrastructure is going up, and his personal reputation remains clean.
  • However, Joshua Kurlantzick of the Council on Foreign Relations writes that Jokowi "seems to be ignoring graft by major figures who are willing to support him" and "has used increasingly repressive means to address the growing power of his critics."

The contrast with his opponent, Prabowo Subianto, remains stark. A former general, he has been accused of ordering abductions and torture, among other abuses (he denies responsibility).

  • More recently, Prabowo has been accused of "[cozying] up to Islamist hardliners for political gain," as the Guardian puts it. He's also seen as erratic, and a potential threat to Indonesia's democracy.

What to watch: This is a rematch. Jokowi beat Prabowo by 6% in 2014, but the former general declared that the election had been stolen. He's already made similar noises this time around, and Jokowi is hoping for a landslide that would muffle such claims.

Go deeper

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.

1 hour ago - World

Top general: China's hypersonic missile test "very close" to a "Sputnik moment"

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's test of a hypersonic missile is "very concerning" and "very close" to the kind of "Sputnik moment" that triggered the Space Race during the Cold War.

Why it matters: The comments by America's top uniformed general underscore the depths of U.S. concerns about China's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry.

Climate reckoning for oil and gas CEOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Top executives from ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell will face a reckoning on Capitol Hill Thursday, as they're grilled on evidence that their companies knew for years that their products were driving climate change but chose to downplay or deny it.

Why it matters: The hearing before the House Oversight Committee will be the first time these executives have been brought together to provide sworn testimony regarding what they knew about the ties between their company's products and climate change, and when they knew it.